The "Herbarium" of the Biology Department, so named for maintaining a collection of botanical studies carried by it professors, characterized as biological collection from the fusion of the Phycological Herbarium of the Laboratory of Hydrobiology of Universidade Federal do Maranhão (UFMA) and collection organized by botanists Ilse Gottsberg and Gerhard Gottsberg, Psychology and Biology Department at UFMA.
Since 1981, Warwick Estevam Kerr had come to the Psycology and Biology Department at UFMA and then organize the Department of Biology. Invited by him the botanists Ilse Gottsberg and Gerhard Gottsberg came to UFMA, who began collecting in Maranhão State and organized a collection of plants. This collection began on August 7th, 1981, with the exsicata of the shrub Gustavia augusta L. (Lecythidaceae), collected in the Vila de Santa Rita, along the BR-135.
Since then, Ilse and Gerhard began a collection program in the State, mainly in the cerrados including: the island of Maranhão, and the Municipalities of Codó, Barreirinhas, Alcântara, Nina Rodrigues and Santa Rita. The Herbarium of the Biology Department at UFMA is a scientific collection that has among its goals to be a herbarium specialized in the Flora of the State of Maranhão, but which also hosts specimens of surrounding States flora. In the Herbarium there are about 8,500 plant species from collections of professors and graduation and postgraduation students.
Recently, attempting to consolidate the collection, that increases every day, it was named “Herbário do Maranhão”, with the acronym “MAR”, which collections are foccused in the restinga and cerrado áreas of Maranhão State. Furthermore, it is been organized special collections: Convolvulaceae: Flora of de São Luís Island; Solanaceae: Flora of Maranhão State; and Sapotaceae: Flora of Maranhão State (development project).